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http://www.japantoday.com/e/?content=news&cat=8&id=269783 Iraqi doctors blame cancer rise on depleted uranium shells Sunday, August 17, 2003 TOKYO ¡X An increasing number of Iraqis are suffering from cancer and leukemia allegedly caused by depleted uranium shells the United States military used in the area, two visiting doctors from Iraq said in presentations in Japan over the past two weeks. Around 116 out of 100,000 people were diagnosed in 2001 with cancer in the vicinity of Basra in southern Iraq, where the U.S. military used depleted uranium shells in the Persian Gulf War in 1991, according to one of the doctors. The number marks a 10-fold increase from the 11 cases diagnosed in 1988, he said. Jawad Al Ali, 59, a doctor from Basra, said an increasing number of families have members who are suffering from cancer, and the death toll from cancer has risen 19-fold during the same period. Several Japanese civic groups jointly invited Ali and Janan Ghalib Hassan to Japan as part of their activities to make known the harmful effects of depleted uranium shells. The two delivered presentations in cities including Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which were devastated by atomic bombs the U.S. dropped in 1945 in World War II. Hassan, 47, said that in 2001, 611 babies were born with no limbs, no eyes or other birth defects, compared with 37 such cases in 1990. Ali expressed concern that a high number of cancer patients will emerge in Baghdad and other parts of the country due to the recent U.S.-led war on Iraq. Depleted uranium, a metal remainder left when natural uranium is refined, is used in artillery shells and bombs designed to penetrate tanks and other armored vehicles. The metal is believed to turn into small particles when a shell hits its target, and can be toxic in humans if breathed or eaten. The U.S. has been denying, including via embassy Web sites, such adverse effects, asserting there is no basis to claims that depleted uranium causes cancer in newborns. But Yuko Fujita, an assistant professor at Keio University who examined the effects of radioactivity in Iraq from May to June, said that damage from depleted uranium will be more serious in the future due to the recent war. "I doubt that Iraq is fabricating data because in fact there are many children suffering from leukemia in hospitals," Fujita said. "As a result of the Iraq war, the situation will be desperate in some five to 10 years." Regarding efforts by Japan in helping to rebuild Iraq, he said, "Japan should build up-to-date hospitals for children with cancer instead of sending Self-Defense Forces personnel." (Kyodo News) _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk